In 1999, I collaborated over the ‘net with an English techno kid named Deakin Scott. He’d heard my trip hop stuff on the old mp3.com and he asked if I wanted to write a vocal part for a 140 beat per minute mix he was working on.
He emailed me a work mix as a guide. I listened over and over, playing with different ideas. Finally, in frustration, I picked up my acoustic guitar and started hashing out some classic rock and roll chords, unrelated to Deakin’s music.
There was, in that first exploration, a kind of teen angel sort of vibe and when I surrendered to that vibe, the lyrics below pretty much came out whole. They play off the teen tragedy vibe, focusing on the protagonist’s feelings in the moment of loss.
I don’t mean to trivialize the emotional resonance of the lyrics for me, though, at all. I really wanted, in my small and clumsy way, to explore the tragic beauty of love and inevitable loss. But… see… you can’t talk about that. Or it sounds like, well, that, and, yet, is simultaneously somehow too personal. So I like the ironic distance afforded by reworking a classic form.
The chords I came up with are reflected in the version below, for the most part. The delivery to Deakin’s 140 bpm music precluded conventional singing, so what melody there was was somewhat irrelevant. Nailing the lyric rhythmically at that tempo was challenging, but after much work I came up with a set of vocals I could really live with.
I emailed them the vocals (bare and attached to his mix as an example/guide) with careful instructions on how to set them on the beat in the mix, since there’s a fair amount of syncopation. Somehow, those instructions must have got lost.
Deakin’s music sounded even better than the guide track I’d worked with — but the vocals I’d sent him were dropped in just a tiny bit off the mark. I explained my concern to him, but he said he’d fallen in love with the mix just the way it was (which I usually take to be code for I’m working on my next project, shouldn’t you?) Anyhow, I can’t make my mix available for download, but broadband users can hear it here (or at the link below).
You’ll find a link for a ‘studio version’ as well — that’s my music and vocals — and while the chords are essentially those I use in the AYoS version, here, the production and arrangement are considerably different… so three three quite different versions.
Today’s acoustic version:
Deakin Scott/TK Major (TK’s Mix):
Mountains Come, Mountains Go
Mountains come and mountains go
but a love like ours will surely show
the stars themselves to be a fling
I’ve seen the End of Time
It’s no big thing
The ocean deep is just a pond
I throw my coat for you to walk upon
The waves are tears that mist my eyes
The mighty wind is
just your sleepy sigh
When I sing to you the angels sing along
and yet I know there’s something wrong
The sky above is in your eyes
and I know that means
you’re lying on the ground
The sirens freeze my blood is cold
suddenly the world’s just too damn old
the future fading in your eyes
time and space collapse
in one last sigh
Mountains come and mountains go but a love like ours will surely show the stars themselves to be a fling I’ve seen the End of Time It’s no big thing